Updated: Wed 10 Oct 2012
The John Lyon School is committed to giving all applicants and all current pupils equal opportunities to succeed, congruent with our status as an academically selective school. We endeavour to ensure that no boy who needs learning support goes without it; a task made easier by the ethos of the School, which is to treat each pupil as an individual.
On entering the School, all boys take a short test designed to alert us to any potential specific learning difficulties (SpLDs), such as dyslexia. Such difficulties can vary considerably and can, on occasion, be masked by intelligent pupils who have found their own coping strategies during their primary years. As a result they may not have been identified as requiring help. These test papers are marked by the Learning Support Department who also look at other evidence like an extended piece of writing from an English task. If we have any concerns arising from this evidence, the pupil is then asked to attend a follow-up test and is monitored by teaching staff for any longer-term signs of difficulties.
If a boy applies to the School with a diagnosed SpLD, he is given extra time in the entrance examination to give him an opportunity to demonstrate what he can do.
A decision is eventually made as to whether the pupil concerned might benefit from additional learning support - perhaps in the form of extra individual lessons - and parents are informed accordingly. These might be on a short-term, targeted basis or over a longer period of time, according to need. No extra cost is incurred for these lessons.
Some boys need one-to-one help with spelling or reading strategies; some benefit from working in small groups, while others may need more time in examinations. Some pupils, both younger and older, might simply need encouragement and confidence-boosting. The Learning Support Department will design lessons specifically aimed at addressing the specific difficulties experienced by the pupils concerned.
If difficulties arise the Learning Support Department will set specific based learning delivered through one to one or group sessions in order to help students to realise their full potential. Any such efforts will be written up in confidential reports informing both parents and teachers.
We try to keep parents informed of all developments. Our overriding aim/desire is to boost the confidence of the pupils concerned and to enable them to flourish during their time at the School.
Further information about Specific Learning Difficulties
Although the terms ‘Specific Learning Difficulties’ (SpLD) and ‘Special Educational Needs’ (SEN) have negative connotations, it should be noted that a condition like dyslexia is not a discriminator or decider of intelligence. Indeed, some of the learning support provided at The John Lyon School has been with boys who have also been in the Gifted & Talented cohort. Statistics show that approximately 10% of the population is, to some degree, dyslexic, and an increasing number of males in particular are being diagnosed with a range of learning profiles. Without appropriate support, such learning conditions can hold back even the brightest of pupils, so we attempt to prevent this for our students from being the case.
'English as an Additional Language' Provision
The School has a small number of ‘English as an Additional Language’ (EAL) students, sometimes due to recent arrival in the country. The Head of Learning Support coordinates the support given to each EAL student. Support can be given in the form of a personalised timetable, guidance and tailored lessons, including one-to-one support, according to need.